Swerve and Protect: Boston’s Bicycle Bible

bike_bible2.jpg

In this month’s issue of the Boston Phoenix, a 20 page supplement called the Bicycle Bible offers advice on bicycle safety and how to stay alive on the streets of Boston. Although there is a nice piece on Boston’s Livable Streets Alliance, the paper may have done more harm than good. With subtitles like "Urban Bikers Need to be Careful, Prepared, and Paranoid" and "Biking on the Defensive," bike commuting is presented as a fringe activity for people with an urban death wish.

There is no shortage of hazards for urban bikers, and any one of them can send you flying. Mike Budka, who has been biking in Boston for about two decades, told his oldest son, "Just behave as if everyone is trying to kill you, and you’ll be fine."

Actually, that might not be such bad advice. And, given what happened to a cyclist in clean and peaceful Toronto the other day — he was beaten by an off duty cop for slowing down at a yellow light — there might be something to the "Biking on the Defensive" angle. But, hey, what about the Joy of Cycling, Boston Phoenix? It’s not all bad out there.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Sound Familiar?

|
With nothing much happening in the American League East this Fall, we’ve been turning our attention to Boston’s burgeoning Livable Street movement instead. Last year a fellow named Jeff Rosenblum founded an organization called the Livable Streets Alliance that is setting out to do work similar to that of New York City’s Transportation Alternatives. Jeff’s group appears […]

Wiki Wednesday: Urban Bicycling With Children

|
Already a prolific contributor to the Streetsblog Flickr pool, BicyclesOnly has recently put together a StreetsWiki guide to "Urban Bicycling With Children." The entry kicks off with a look at some of the less obvious benefits to biking with kids: Bicycling with children initiates so-called "virtuous cycles" that further promote bicycling. Parents who bicycle with their children […]

The Debate Over Physically-Separated Bike Lanes Continues

|
A physically-separated bike lane on a shopping street in Copenhangen, Denmark Two weeks ago "Gridlock" Sam Schwartz wrote an op/ed for the Sunday Times advocating for physically-separated bike lanes in New York City. The next weekend, John Allen, a Waltham-based regional director for the League of American Bicyclists replied that separated bike lanes are dangerous and bad idea. […]

Livable Streets Are Good for Health in the Heartland, Too

|
The roadscape in Nebraska, built for one thing only. Photo by jWiltshire via Flickr. The health benefits of livable streets don’t always get enough attention. Today on the Streetsblog Network, we’ve got a story from Missouri Bicycle News about a new study from the St. Louis University School of Public Health documenting how the health […]

Packed House Applauds Bicycle Diarist Byrne and Friends

|
What was billed as a book reading by famed Talking Heads frontman David Byrne on Tuesday evening took on the air of a teach-in on cities and bicycles, with Byrne and fellow cycling superstars Janette Sadik-Khan and Paul Steely White taking turns extolling New York City’s blooming bicycle infrastructure before a packed house at the […]